It seems that the Delhi Traffic Police is playing a game of hide and seek with app-based taxi services providers in the national capital. After rejecting the applications for licence by US-based taxi booking firm Uber and two other such service providers — Ola and TaxiForSure, the Delhi Traffic Police has now asked its officials to download their respective apps and book cabs so as to fine the driver and impound the car when it arrives.
Now, the Delhi traffic cops are downloading the Uber app and booking rides. Because when the driver shows up – they challan him and impound his car. According to the reports, in the last 24 hours, the transport department has fined 158 cabs and impounded 120 of them in the city.
For this, the traffic police has cited Section 188 of IPC (Disobeying the order given by public servant) to the Transport Department to act against company executives. It is to be noted that the transport department had previously attempted to block the websites and apps of these firms, but weren’t successful in executing these bans.
“We have continuously been asking Uber, Ola Cabs and TaxiForSure to give an affidavit since March this year, stating that they are complying the ban order imposed on them in December last year, but they have still not done it. We have rejected their applications for licence,” a top official had said yesterday.
Apart from booking cab drivers, traffic police has also written to the transport department urging them to cancel the permit of such vehicles. The liability of the companies will also be fixed under Sections 93(1), 193 and 199 of the Motor Vehicles Act.
Commenting on this action, Muktesh Chander, Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, “A large majority of the vehicles were impounded not because they didn’t have a radio taxi license but because they were conducting journeys within the city using an All India Tourist Permit, which allows only trips between states.”
After this a section of drivers of the US-based taxi aggregator Uber and Ola gathered to protest outside the Delhi Secretariat against the ban of taxi services and met Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai and raised their issues before him. “AAP government would not consider applications for licence from app-based taxi operators Uber and Ola Cabs unless they comply with the existing ban imposed on them,” Rai said.
Karun Arya, Uber’s head of communications in South Asia, said “We adhere to a model Pooch-O (an app that works as a marketplace between a driver and a rider) that’s approved by the Delhi government. It is an app that connects rider to only commercially licensed drivers.”
It is to be noted that all app-based cab service were banned in the national capital after a driver of Uber, was accused of raping a 27-year-old financial consultant woman passenger in December last year. The company resumed its services in January after applying for a radio taxi licence.
Recently, a woman had accused a driver contracted with Uber of attempting to molest her after she hailed his cab to go to Gurgaon from Delhi at night. The driver, identified as Vinod, was arrested on Tuesday.